The Secret History of Twin Peaks

The Secret History of Twin Peaks

by Mark Frost


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From the co-creator of the landmark series, the story millions of fans have been waiting to get their hands on for 25 long years.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks enlarges the world of the original series, placing the unexplained phenomena that unfolded there into a vastly layered, wide-ranging history, beginning with the journals of Lewis and Clark and ending with the shocking events that closed the finale. The perfect way to get in the mood for the upcoming Showtime series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250075581
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Series: Twin Peaks Series
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Mark Frost is an American novelist, screenwriter, director and film producer, best known as a writer for the television series Hill Street Blues and as the co-creator of the television series Twin Peaks.

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The Secret History of Twin Peaks

By Mark Frost

Flatiron Books

Copyright © 2016 Mark Frost
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-07559-8




In the 1870s, white prospectors discovered gold in the Wallowa Valley in the Pacific Northwest--now central Washington State--the traditional homeland of the Nez Perce, the people first encountered by Meriwether Lewis. Soon afterward, claiming that the U.S. government had already acquired the rights to their valley in a treaty with another tribe, General Oliver Howard was dispatched with a full brigade to escort the Nez Perce to a reservation. This was a direct violation of the government's existing treaty with the Nez Perce.

The Nez Perce had never before been a "hostile tribe" toward American settlers. After Joseph's refusal, in spite of his efforts to keep the peace, hostilities escalated and the cavalry were mobilized to finish the job. To avoid being slaughtered where they lived, or forced onto a reservation, Chief Joseph led his people--a group of over 700 men, women and children, including only 200 fighting men--on a desperate flight toward Canada.


This sounds like a reference to one of their principal myths, common to many nations in the Northwest region, that refer to ancient relationships with mysterious beings they refer to as "Sky People."

Chief Joseph had never before been called to serve his people as a military leader. His role was closer to that of a spiritual leader or elder. Despite this lack of military experience, when he returned from this mysterious "pilgrimage" Chief Joseph led his people on one of the great tactical retreats in history, during which they engaged in a series of 13 battles or skirmishes against more than 2,000 soldiers, cavalry and artillery under the command of General Howard.


"Joseph and his band have eluded our troops and he is now continuing his retreat toward British Columbia. I shall never forget the actual pass through which he made his exit into Clark Basin near Hart Mountain. He seemed to travel through the mountain itself--by way of the dry bed of what was usually a mountain torrent, with such precipitous walls on either side that it was like going through a gigantic rough railroad tunnel. According to my scouts there had been water running through that channel just days before.

"I had troops stationed at Hart Mountain in accordance with instructions, ready and watching for them, but at daybreak, a giant cloud of smoke or dust appeared to the east. My men rode in pursuit, believing that Joseph's whole body had got past him, and followed this long dust trail, abandoning the mouth of the pass. Once they had passed on, Joseph led his people out of the tunnel through the mountain. By the time we reached the spot a day later, a river once again flowed through that channel.

"We believe he is aiming at refuge with Sitting Bull. He is traveling with women and children and wounded at a rate of about twenty-five miles a day; but he regulates his gait by ours. We will lessen our speed to about twelve miles a day and he will also slow down. Please at once take a diagonal line to head him off with all the force at your command, and when you have intercepted him send word to me immediately and I will by forced marching unite with you."


After 11 weeks, having never lost a battle against this vastly superior force, only 30 miles from the Canadian border and freedom, Chief Joseph was surrounded in the Bear Paw Mountains of northern Montana. After a five-day battle, only 87 of his warriors remained. Rather than risk the lives of the surviving 350 women and children, Joseph chose to surrender.


Thus ended the last war between the United States and a Native American nation.

Joseph threw himself off his horse, draped his blanket about him and, carrying his rifle in the hollow of one arm, changed from the stooped attitude in which he had been listening, held himself very erect, and with a quiet pride, not exactly defiance, advanced toward General Howard and held out his rifle in token of submission. Although he spoke good English, in order to be understood by his own people Joseph spoke to Howard through an interpreter:

"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. The old men are all dead. My brother who led the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. Our little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead.

"Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. I have fought, but from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."


Joseph and 400 followers were taken on unheated railcars to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they were held in a prisoner-of-war camp for eight months. The following summer, the survivors were taken by rail to a reservation in Oklahoma that was little more than a concentration camp. By that time, over half of the Nez Perce had died of epidemic diseases.

For the next 31 years, Chief Joseph fought for his nation's cause and met with three different presidents to argue his case. Captain Erskine Wood, good as his word, tried to carry on the fight for justice for them. He resigned from the army, practiced law in Portland and fought to get the matter before Congress. He eventually raised the money to bring Joseph to Washington to speak for himself.



In an agonizingly slow response to Joseph's appeal, six years later his people were allowed to move from Indian Territory in Oklahoma to a reservation in northeastern Washington. Once they arrived, the Nez Perce discovered they would be forced to live alongside the broken remnants of 11 other tribes. Joseph and the people of his nation were never allowed to see their homeland in the Wallowa Valley again.

Joseph died in Washington State in 1904, at the age of 64. According to his doctor, he died of a broken heart.


Joseph's mysterious "pilgrimage" prior to his retreat replicates or echoes the "vision quest" experience of Meriwether Lewis in the "place by the falls and the twin mountains."

Is it possible that both Lewis and Chief Joseph may have had some sort of congress there--physical, metaphysical or otherwise--with "the Great Spirit Chief who rules above"?

If so, was this a direct encounter or did it require traveling to a sacred place that may have been indicated in the ancient Nez Perce map shown to Lewis?




Moving forward in time, it is important that we learn to distinguish between mysteries and secrets. Mysteries precede humankind, envelop us and draw us forward into exploration and wonder. Secrets are the work of humankind, a covert and often insidious way to gather, withhold or impose power. Do not confuse the pursuit of one with the manipulation of the other.

In some instances, for clarity when the handwriting is obscure, I have typed out the entries for ease of reading.

-- Still got stores fer three weeks, and there's game about and fish in the crick. Searched bout five square miles, no luck yet but DB says this work needs patients so we'll keep at it. Lots of caves about in these hills so we'll find it sure one day.

-- Found something but we don't know what. Might could be the mine we think. A deep cave, connected inside to many like passages. Up in the high woods a mile east of camp, at the base of a cliff. Opening's hid by woods, and there's rocks piled up at the entrance so it sure seems somebody was trying to hide it. Found one of them queer platforms near the entrance, that's how we found it. No body on it, but plenty of Injun shit, bundles of sticks and herbs, bones of some small animals. Not so smart, maybe, putting it so close to the cave like at, but what you expect from an Injun. Took most of the damn day to move them rocks out the way so we're worn out. DB tried to take a compass read to mark the spot--had a hard time with it, the damn needle just spun around. Which to DB meant some kind of metallic deposit nearby, which he said was good.

Nightfall by that time, but tired as we was Denver Bob could not be bothered to wait. Gold fever, I call it, cause I got it to. We fired our lanterns up and Denver Bob went in first. Stank like hell. Followed that cave down a long snaky passage, a hunerd feet in. No gold in the rock, at least not here. Looks like this passage was dug out, though. Axe or chisel, maybe. Real deep dark in here.

Okay. The passage opens into a big ass chamber. Couldn't see the ceiling by the lantern light, that's how big. Natural cavern, we think. Bob got real close to the wall with his light on one side, I took the other.

No gold but DB called me over and we both held up our lights. On his side the whole wall's covered with painting I guess you'd call it. Different colors. Not like one picture, but a whole mess a strange shapes and symbols, kind of primitive. Injun work, no doubt, and they can't draw fer shit. Don't add up to any sense we can make of it.

Looks like a bird, maybe, but who know, its like a damn kid's scribbles. Coulda saved us a lotta trubble if them Injuns learned to write proper English and spell shit out. What the- -- Damn, something screeched back in there then flue out of dark at us like a bat out a hell. We run all the way out, nearly beat my brains in on the wall once. DB dropped his damn lantern. Felt that thing right behind us breathing on our necks. Got out of there and night was thick on us. Thing passed straight over our heads and we hit the ground. Bird for sure, maybe a bat. DB thought an owl. If it were, it's the biggest damn owl I ever seen, and I don't care to see it again.

-- Moved camp down close to a river cause we heard from that cave a real peculiar whistling and what I thought was like moaning. DB thought it were voices and he got spooked. I tole him could be the wind to settle him but I don't think so. Every time I try to sleep I see that thing's eyes. Strange cause I can't recollect seeing em then, but I see em now looking at me when I close mine.

-- Woke up and Denver Bob was gone. Just cleared out during the night, I think. All his gears here, including his rifle, and he never went nowere without that Spencer. Figure I'll hold it for him. Fuck this shit. Still got my compass and I know the trail. Heading back for Spokane pronto.


This journal was discovered buried in the stacks of Spokane's Masonic temple. According to their records some loggers came across it at an abandoned campsite in 1879, in a saddlebag on the desiccated corpse of a starved mule. No human remains were found at the site. A Spencer rifle with the initials DB carved on the stock was in the saddle, but it's since been lost.

The "Yakima map" referred to in these entries was not found. There's no name on the journal, but one Spokane local recalled seeing that saddlebag on a horse belonging to a man named Wayne Chance, a lowlife drifter from out of the territory who often traveled in the company of another man known as Denver Bob Hobbes. Neither man was ever seen again, which was judged as no great loss to the community.

The cave referred to is now known to me as Owl Cave, in the mountains east of Twin Peaks, part of what is now Ghostwood National Forest. It had long been known to native people, but as Lewis never mentions it this appears to have been the first discovery of it by settlers. Geologically, it is part of an extensive chain of lava tubes related to long-dormant volcanic activity in the local mountain chain. To this day, much of it has never been explored.

Why the journal ended up in a Masonic lodge--as opposed to a local library or historical society--is uncertain. Masons established an early presence in the region, which, as in many other places down through the centuries, led to whispers of their participation in strange, ancient rituals. Perhaps they were making investigations of their own. Interestingly, the symbol most often employed by the Masons' nemesis "lodge"--the aforementioned Illuminati--is the owl.

*2* Logging Mania

With the arrival of "civilization," inevitably, the exploitation of the land by its new inhabitants commenced.

*3* Andrew packard

The following story was published in the town's first biweekly newspaper, the Twin Peaks Gazette, in May 1927.


As to the veracity of Andrew's encounter with this alleged "Bigfoot"-like humanoid, I offer no encouragement or confirmation. It probably sold a lot of newspapers. The Northwest would soon afterward become known as the home of the myth of Bigfoot, a reclusive giant usually offered up as some remnant of a "missing link" between humans and primitive man. Native people of the region, and for that matter around the world, tell many stories of such creatures, usually describing them as demonic beings like the wendigo of the Algonquian peoples or, in Asia, the yeti. Sightings continue periodically to this day.

Much later in life, Andrew's path would take a strange and drastic turn toward the malfeasant, which may throw some shade on this youthful encounter, but let's reserve comment for the moment.

As for Scoutmaster Dwayne Milford, he also went on to a prominent local career. He worked for many years in the town pharmacy founded by his family and, after the death of his father, took over as owner and pharmacist shortly after World War II. This is far from the last we will hear about either man.

The following excerpt was discovered among the personal papers of Andrew Packard, following his first "death" in 1987. This correspondent can verify, from personal experience of this individual, that the handwritten section across the top of the page was penned by Packard himself.


We examined the footprints in the mud, and I took my photographs. Scoutmaster Milford, looking off into the woods, now told me a story about a camping trip his younger brother Douglas had taken in the same location six months ago.

Although both brothers had worked with the Boy Scouts for years, Douglas no longer served as a scoutmaster. Scoutmaster Milford told me the reason was that Douglas had recently been asked to leave the scouts after an unseemly incident-having to do with said camping trip--which Scoutmaster Milford said highlighted a "lamentable defect" in his brother's character. It was no secret among scouts that the Milford brothers had a complicated relationship, so I listened and asked no questions.

Earlier that year, Douglas came back from said camping trip with a wild story about having encountered what he called a "giant" in the forest. Given that Douglas had always been prone to "fanciful and chronic exaggeration," this latest example of a "tall tale" was discounted by Dwayne and everyone else.

That provoked greater protestations from Douglas, including an even more outlandish claim that on the same trip he'd also come across a "walking owl" that he told Dwayne was nearly as "tall as a man." Douglas also swore he'd captured photographic evidence of both creatures, but it turned out the film in his camera had been prematurely exposed. He blamed this on the darkroom at the Milford family pharmacy, suggesting that it was Dwayne's fault for improperly mixing the chemicals.

Douglas also said having the pictures didn't really matter because he had a photographic memory--which Dwayne confirmed; his brother does have near total recall--and remembered every last detail. In the weeks that followed, Douglas would sometimes vanish from home for days. Dwayne believed his brother might have been sneaking up to these woods again.

The next month Douglas brought this incident up at a Regional Scoutmaster Council in Spokane, interrupting the proceedings and demanding that unless the scouts launched an all-out investigation into the matter he would bring it before the National Scoutmaster Council. Dwayne tried to calm down his agitated brother, but sadly the evening ended with Douglas decking Dwayne with a right cross, at which point he was removed, kicking and shouting, from the Scout Hall.

This was followed by the council passing a unanimous motion to strip Douglas of scoutmaster rank and expel him from the organization. The resulting "brouhaha" brought deep consternation to the eastern Washington scouting community--not to mention within the Milford family--and all there agreed to strike it from the minutes of the meeting.


Excerpted from The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost. Copyright © 2016 Mark Frost. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books.
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